**A Call to Action**

{Sorry this has nothing (or does it) to do with the Stadium development, but it is too important to not put up on this site.  Here’s hoping that the many visitors to this site each day take the time to email those in power to get them to commit to such a wonderful initiative.}


Dear Colleagues, Students and Supporters.

You will know that the Polytechnic and Otago University are bringing their design departments together to form a new Otago Institute of Design. By pooling our expertise and resources we are creating a centre of excellence for design right here in Dunedin. This initiative will also take collaboration between design educators across NZ and the design industry to a new level, for instance, with our high-tech prototype and modeling facility that will be the most comprehensive currently available in Australasia.
The Otago Institute of Design will be sited at the old Wickliffe Site in Albany Street, Dunedin

However, this project is now at risk. Otago Polytechnic’s contribution of $12.5M to construction of the Otago Institute of Design building was to be funded by a Central Government loan.

The suspensory loan had reached its final stages of approval. However, the Government now appears to be reconsidering whether to provide this loan at all. We appreciate that there are many demands for Government support, but our message is that for the sake of design, and for the Otago region industries, and NZ generally, building this Design Institute is a priority.
Without this funding the building cannot go ahead.

By funding this project, the Government will ensure that we can:
. Make the most of all of the money and effort invested in the Otago Institute of Design so far
. Provide an immediate boost for local jobs and the economy through the building of the Institute.
. Produce graduates who have studied within one of NZ’s most innovative design environments and can help drive the long-term future of design in New Zealand.

We urgently need your messages of support to reach key Government Ministers responsible for this decision, encouraging them to fund the project. We need you to act now. We have said that this project has great community support, but we need the Government to know this is not just an assertion by Otago Polytechnic.

If you are willing to help, please spare just a few of minutes to write a letter or an email – we need business and personal support:

Email the Minister of Finance Hon. Bill English
and Prime Minister, Hon John Key
and let them know that this is a must do project for design and for Dunedin City.
Please cc. Hon Anne Tolley, Minister for Education
and bc. to Phil Ker, CEO Otago Polytechnic

Below are some points you might like to draw on, but the key messages which we need to get across are:

  • The building is much-needed infrastructure for the Otago Institute of Design (and will create space to allow important developments in the wider Polytechnic and University campus)
  • The creative industries are important to the economic future of Dunedin and the whole of New Zealand
  • There has already been significant investment by government in the development of design in Dunedin (see attachment: $6.27 million). Dunedin can be a centre of design excellence, and we are well on the way – lets not stop that progress.
  • Dozens of Otago and New Zealand wide businesses and institutions have already given much support to this – we do not want to see them let down

Alistair Regan




Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Other, Town planning

10 responses to “**A Call to Action**

  1. Peter

    It looks like govt is trying to put this back on to the Polytech. In what I would think is a standard response from the Minister of Education, Anne Tolley, she writes (or rather her officials draft on her behalf):
    ‘The previous Government agreed to an investment of up to $12.5 million in the OID, subject to Otago Polytechnic agreeing to certain terms and conditions. Since I became Minister for Tertiary Education in November 2008, Otago Polytechnic has indicated it wishes to revisit these terms and conditions. This would require a decision by Cabinet.’

    She goes on to note that the Chair of the Otago Polytechnic, Graham Crombie, will provide further information on the Design Institute before the next steps for the project are considered.

  2. Elizabeth

    Word from university management on Friday was the thereabouts sum of $12.5M for the Otago Institute of Design development was lost then found as the $15M government grant to the stadium, to make up the lack of private sector funding. How awful is that. Please correct me, if the officials have it wrong…

  3. Elizabeth


    We get a STUPID ILL-CONSIDERED $15M stadium handout from the National Government and not a dime towards a seriously good enterprise idea hosting between Otago Polytechnic and University of Otago, to allow a new facility for entrepreneurial design and industry link-up.

    Channel 9 News tonight confirmed the government has withdrawn the $12.5M proposed for the Otago Design Institute.

    Story in ODT tomorrow.

  4. David

    This is just the tip of the iceberg – we’ve still got got another twenty years of the stadium sucking the life out of other worthwhile and valuable projects.

    The interest alone on the ratepayers HALF of the project would pay for a new Chinese Garden sized project every seven months.

    Imagine another 40 projects that size – we could be the most infrastructure-rich city in Australasia – or we could build a second rugby stadium. Only to demolish tens of millions of dollars of new stands in the current stadium.

  5. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 7 May 2009
    Polytech rejects Govt appointee
    By Allison Rudd

    The chairman of the Otago Polytechnic Council said there was unanimous support from council members for the institution forgoing a $12.5 million government suspensory loan, because the offer was tagged to the appointment of a Crown manager.

    Read more


    It is understood that the university purchased the Wickliffe Press site from the Dunedin City Council for under market value. This in assistance to the establishment of a building facility for the Otago Design Institute.

    The polytechnic and the university each have established design coursing in their respective curricula. Each of the departments offering the courses in design learning are not professionally accredited “design schools” in the tertiary sense.

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